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Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary General

SPOKESPERSON’S DAILY HIGHLIGHTS

BY MARTIN NESIRKY, SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

MONDAY, 9 JANUARY 2012

GREEK CYPRIOT, TURKISH CYPRIOT LEADERS DISCUSS FORTHCOMING TALKS WITH SECRETARY-GENERAL

  • The leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities met in Nicosia on Monday.

  • They discussed the forthcoming talks with the Secretary-General at the Greentree Estate in Long Island, New York, which are to take place from 22-24 January.

  • Asked about the talks between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders, the Spokesperson referred to the Secretary-General's comments to media on Friday that there is not much time before Cyprus is scheduled to assume the European Union Presidency.

                                                                                               

FIJI: U.N. RIGHTS CHIEF WELCOMES LIFTING OF EMERGENCY LAW, VOICES CONCERN OVER INTIMIDATION OF CRITICS

  • The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said on Monday that she welcomed the lifting of the emergency law in Fiji, calling the move a step in the right direction towards the full enjoyment of fundamental human rights in the country.

  • Ms. Pillay also said she hoped that amendments made to the Public Order Act would be in line with international human rights norms and would not in any way replicate the restrictions in the Public Emergency Regulations.

  • She also expressed concern that critics of the Government have faced criminal charges, arbitrary detention or other forms of intimidation.

TOP U.N. OFFICIAL VISITS JONGLEI STATE IN SOUTH SUDAN

  • Over the weekend, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for South Sudan, Hilde Johnson, visited Pibor and Fartait in Jonglei state.

  • She called for the cycle of violence to stop.

  • The safety and security of all must now come first, she said. This means a committed, coordinated and cooperative drive by all concerned to achieve peace and stability.

  • Ms. Johnson said that the situation in Jonglei was a major test for the newly independent South Sudan and she called on the government to take immediate steps to establish its peace team and move forward with urgency, working with church leaders, the communities and civil society.

  • The Special Representative also said she was very concerned about the humanitarian situation. She urged the international community to respond generously to the efforts made by the UN humanitarian community.

  • Asked about the violence in Jonglei State in South Sudan, the Spokesperson said that we are aware of reports of further violence. He noted the Secretary-General's Special Representative for South Sudan, Hilde Johnson, had reported that the Mission's assessment is that there is no evidence to support the casualty numbers that were reported on Friday by some media. Ms Johnson commended the decision by the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to investigate the violence.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS IN PALESTINE AND CONFIDENCE BUILDING MEASURES DISCUSSED: Asked about the question of settlements and confidence building measures in the Middle East, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General speaks with leaders in the region and that, when appropriate, he raises these issues with them.

IRAN MUST PROVE PEACEFUL NUCLEAR PROGRAMME: Asked about media reports that Iran continues to develop its nuclear potential, the Spokesperson reiterated the Secretary-General's comments to the media on Friday that Iran must prove to the satisfaction of the international community that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes only, and that Iran must comply with all Security Council and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) resolutions.

U.N. PREPARED TO OFFER TRAINING TO LEAGUE OF ARAB STATES OBSERVER MISSION TO SYRIA: Asked about U.N. assistance to the League of Arab States' mission to Syria, the Spokesperson said that the U.N. is prepared to provide training for the observers outside of the country. We are waiting to hear from League of Arab States on this. He also said the Secretary-General remains very concerned about what is happening in Syria even with the presence of the Observer Mission. The Mission must be allowed to investigate freely and effectively and report.

SECRETARY-GENERAL REITERATES ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY FOR SEXUAL CRIMES BY U.N. PEACEKEEPERS: Asked about reports about the military and civilian trials of Uruguayan troops accused of sexual violence against a Haitian citizen, the Spokesperson said that we are aware of reports that the soldiers have been released after a judicial process by Uruguayan military authorities for military infractions. He noted that the civilian judicial process for the more serious criminal charges continues. If they are found guilty, they can still be detained and sentenced. Nesirky said it is up to Troop Contributing States to investigate and prosecute misconduct by peacekeeping troops, and that changing the terms of reference for peacekeeping operations is a matter for Member States. The Secretary-General has repeatedly said that the UN has a strict zero-tolerance policy for sexual crimes by peacekeeping troops.

SECRETARY-GENERAL LOOKS FORWARD TO RENOWNED LEBANESE HOSPITALITY: Asked about reports that Hizbollah has said that the Secretary-General is not welcome in Lebanon, the Spokesperson said that the Lebanese are renowned for their hospitality, and that the Secretary-General sees no reason for this to be different on this trip.

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO MEET WITH NIGERIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Asked about violence in Nigeria, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General will meet with the Nigerian Foreign Minister, and that a readout has been requested.

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

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